Experimental study on laser-induced ignition of swirl-stabilized kerosene flames

Klaus G. Moesl, Klaus G. Vollmer, Thomas Sattelmayer, Johannes Eckstein, Herbert Kopecek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conventional ignition systems of aeroengines are an integral part of the combustion chamber's structure. Due to this hardware-related constraint, the ignition spark has to be generated in the quench zone of the combustion chamber, which is far from the optimum regarding thermo-and aerodynamics. An improved ignitability of the fuel-air mixture can be found in the central zone of the combustor, where higher local equivalence ratios prevail and where mixing is favorable for a smooth ignition. It would be a major advancement in aeroengine design to position the ignition kernel in these zones. A laser system is able to ignite the fuel-air mixture at almost any location inside of the combustion chamber. Commercial laser systems are under development, which can replace conventional spark plugs in internal combustion engines and gas turbines. This study was conducted to evaluate the applicability of laser ignition in liquid-fueled aeroengines. Ignition tests were performed with premixed natural gas and kerosene to evaluate the different approaches of laser and spark plug ignition. The experiments were carried out on a generic test rig with a well-investigated swirler, allowing sufficient operational flexibility for parametric testing. The possibility of the free choice of the laser's focal point is the main advantage of laser-induced ignition. Placing the ignition kernel at the spray cone's shear layer or at favorable locations in the recirculation zone could significantly increase the ignitability of the system. Consequently, the laser ignition of atomized kerosene was successfully tested down to a global equivalence ratio of 0.23. Furthermore, the laser outperformed the spark plug at ignition locations below axial distances of 50 mm from the spray nozzle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021501
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Volume131
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

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